Design Guidance Overview

Data Exchange Components

A fully functional and documented data exchange is composed of multiple components, which are catalogued in the Exchange Design Rules and Conventions (EDRCs). The EDRCs describe the required and optional documents needed to produce as part of the process of creating or revising a data exchange. Key required components include XML schemas, Flow Configuration Documents (FCD), Data Exchange Templates (DET), and Trading Partner Agreements (TPA).

  • XML Schemas are the software framework defining the data elements and rules in a data exchange. They define the structure, content and semantics of XML documents, which facilitate Node-to-Node exchanges of data among Network partners. Visit Developing XML Schemas for more information.
  • Data Exchange Templates list a schema’s data elements with their definitions and validation rules. They also give examples of data content. A DET is a more human readable version of the XML schema. They help implementers map their data to the schema. The DET Template will help schema developers create DETs and schema for new data exchanges.
  • Flow Configuration Documents identify and standardize the minimum information needed by partners to exchange data on the Network. The FCD describes both a data exchange’s technical configuration and its business processes. The FCD Template provides an outline and suggested format for Network Partners to use when creating an FCD for a new data exchanges.
  • Trading Partner Agreements define in writing, for specific data exchanges, the participating Partners’ individual and joint responsibilities in stewardship, security, and other items essential for the effective exchange of information on the Exchange Network. The TPA is intended to encourage Partners to clarify the appropriate and agreed upon use, ownership, type, quality, and frequency of data exchanged between and among Partners. Visit Trading Partner Agreements for more information.

Partners creating or updating a Data Exchange must submit each of these components to the Network Technology Board (NTB) for review. The purpose of this review is to ensure that data exchanges follow Exchange Network standards and design rules, and to promote the highest degree of interoperability possible. Guidance is presented in the Network document “Exchange Documentation Package Preparation and Review Process.”

Design Guidance and Best Practices

Partners seeking to design and implement a new Data Exchange, or revise an existing one, should review the Network document “Exchange Design Guidance and Best Practices” and the requirements presented at Detailed Design Guidance.